We’re Calling It: This is the Next *It* Vegetable

With its texture, flavour and colour, cabbage is extremely versatile.

varieties of cabbage photo credit: shutterstock

This is Cabbage’s Year to Shine

Let’s be honest: Cabbage has never reached the superfood status of its cousin kale. It also hasn’t been co-opted into hot hipster dining culture the way its baby brother the Brussels sprout has.

Sadly, cabbage’s claim to fame is relegated to sharing a name with a semi-creepy doll from the ’80s, an old-school diet (remember cabbage soup?) and memories of your mom’s kitchen smelling like farts. It’s a tough history for any vegetable to recover from, but we say that this is cabbage’s year to shine.

Available in a variety of colours, textures and shapes, cabbage is one of the most versatile and inexpensive vegetables on the market. Serve it raw and it lends an addictive crunch that puts full-fat croutons to shame. Braise or sauté the veggie and relish its natural sweetness and supple texture.

Not only does it offer fantastic texture, flavour and colour but it’s also an underappreciated star in the nutrition department. One cup of cabbage clocks in at just over 15 calories and provides almost two grams of digestion-supporting fibre, making it a satisfying way to bulk up any salad, soup or casserole.

Cabbage is a member of the brassica family, along with other foodie favourites like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and Brussels sprouts – the latter two being considered cabbage themselves. Brassica vegetables like cabbage have been studied extensively for their potential anti-cancer properties, with some research showing a link to a reduced risk of certain types of cancer. Cabbage is also a powerhouse of flavonoid and phenolic antioxidants, with the red variety packing an extra-potent dose of anthocyanins. Research suggests that anthocyanins may help protect against heart disease, cancer and even cognitive decline. Try some of our favourite cabbage recipes: Maple-Glazed Salmon with Braised Cabbage & Apples and Slow-Cooker Quinoa Cabbage Rolls.

4 Varieties of Cabbage You Should Try Tonight

Not only does it provide texture, flavour and colour but cabbage also offers that irresistible combo of being low in calories and high in fibre. Available in so many delicious varieties, cabbage is one of the most versatile and inexpensive vegetables in the market. Below are four varieties of cabbages that you will pair well with any meal.

Green Cabbage: Crispy, sturdy and inexpensive, green cabbage is the classic go-to for crunchy slaws.  It has a mild, peppery flavour that mellows with cooking.

Purple/ Red Cabbage: Almost identical in texture to green cabbage but with a more vibrant hue and earthy flavour, purple/red cabbage provides a pretty colour contrast in salads.

Savoy/ Curly Cabbage: More tender and milder than its green and red cousins, savoy/curly cabbage is delicious braised or used as a low-carb “taco” in place of tortillas.

Napa/ Chinese Cabbage: Milder and sweeter than other cabbages, napa/Chinese cabbage is ideal for making kimchi or adding to Asian stir-fries.